A look at fatal fires in South Dakota

KELOLAND.com Original
KELO fire flames generic

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Fires cause damage to homes, possessions, pets and people. And in the worst situations, fires can lead to death.

According to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, 11 fire-related deaths have been recorded in South Dakota thus far in 2019. Public Information Officer Tony Mangan shared a chart looking back at deadly fires over the past 10 years.  

Courtesy SD Department of Public Safety

We’re looking at KELOLAND News coverage for the past five years of fatal fires in South Dakota.

March 2014


The first fatal fire of 2014 was in Spink County. A house was entirely engulfed in flames in Conde. A 50-year-old man was found severely hurt outside the home and was flown to a Minneapolis Hospital. A 41-year-old woman did not escape. Her body was found hours later.

June 2014

A garage fire took the life of a man in Rapid City. After the Rapid City Fire Department had the fire under control, they found the body of a man inside. Authorities say the owners of the garage didn’t know the man and were unaware he was there. The building did not have electricity or other utilities.

September 2014

An apartment fire in Mitchell claimed the life of an 18-year-old college student. As crews were putting out the flames, they also tried to account for everyone who lived in the building. Two others who lived in the apartment were taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation and burns.

April, 2015

A Brandon fire killed a volunteer firefighter and a homeowner. Both died of smoke inhalation. Two other people were also in the home, but were able to escape. The fire started in a vent pipe that went to both the furnace and water heater. 

November 2015

A weekend mobile home fire in Madison killed a 65-year-old man. Lake County Coroner said the man died of smoke inhalation. A dog also died in the fire. Officials said fire damage was limited to an area around the home’s natural-gas furnace, and the fire most likely originated from the furnace.

October 2016


Two children died in a fire outside the city limits of Aberdeen. The two boys were inside the mobile home with their father. Their father made it out of the house and was treated for smoke inhalation.

February 2017

One person died after an overnight house fire in Sioux Falls. When fire crews arrived, heavy smoke was coming from the home. They found one person inside the house who died from their injuries. It took nearly an hour to get the fire under control. The 64-year-old victim was the only person inside this mobile home.

March 2017

Authorities said the victim in a deadly fire was 2-year-old Kylee Saul. Yankton’s fire department answered a fire call at an apartment building on the 800 block of Picotte Street.

April 2017

Fire crews were called to a home in Spearfish that was engulfed in flames. A sleepover was happening at the time of the fire that caused five children to perish. Adults who tried to save the children were taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

July 2017

A grass fire that spread to a home killed a 26-year-old woman. Three other buildings, several vehicles and hay bales were also destroyed. Custer County’s sheriff says a 7-year-old child started the fire by lighting grass with a lighter.

August 2017

There were three victims of a fire in Rapid City. A 37-year-old and a nine-year-old were killed along with a third victim who had to be identified in the mobile home.

December 2017

A Yankton man died of his injuries following a mobile home fire. Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters had to break down a door and pull him from the fire.

February 2018

KELO Day County

Authorities in Day County arrested a person in connection with a fatal house fire in Andover, South Dakota. Investigators say the charge stems from something that happened prior to the fire but is connected to the case. A 25-year-old woman was found dead inside the house that was set ablaze.

October 2018

A 58-year-old man died in a mobile home fire in southwestern South Dakota. Sheriff’s officials were on the scene within five minutes, but the mobile home was engulfed in flames when they arrived.

October 2018

Two people died following a house fire in Lead, South Dakota. Crews say fire and smoke were coming from the top floor, attic and roof. Firefighters were able to stop the flames from reaching neighboring homes.

November 2018

Authorities found a body in a burned out garage along Signal Drive. Another person was found near the garage and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

April 2019

An apartment fire in southeast Sioux Falls turned fatal. Police said the 60-year-old man who was injured died at a hospital. Firefighters were called to an apartment complex near the Hy-Vee along Sycamore Avenue. A sprinkler system helped contain the fire.

May 2019

A married couple died in a fire on a farm near Bowdle, South Dakota. The married couple died of smoke inhalation. Crews responded to the fire at about 7 a.m.

June 2019

KELO Rapid City locator map

A man died and a firefighter was injured in a fire just south of Rapid City. Firefighters were called to the area around 8:15 in the morning. The fire was out within 20 minutes.

December 2019

Fire crews were able to knock down a fire in Sioux Falls from the exterior of the home and then re-enter to search the second floor. The crews located a victim and deceased pet on the second floor. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

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